Friday, December 31, 2010

Free Telecom Reviewed

I guess that by now you've all heard about Free Telecom.

I've been using their SIP services for a while, and thought it would be nice to share my experience with it before things would change in 2011.

So first, I'm an Orange customer, so in order to get the Free Telecom client to work, I need to choose the "IL Orange Internet" access point, as the "3G Portal" access point uses a proxy which blocks non-HTTP traffic.

The client is a bit buggy, but works most of the time, and doesn't seem to drain the battery (compared to other VoIP clients which supports SIP, such as Fring). The SMS UI is nice, and even a bit more useful than the built-in client in my Nokia N95 8GB.

As for call quality: most of the time, when calls are done over WiFi or in places with good 3G reception, the quality is just fine. I'd say it's better than VoIP quality provided by other clients. But, when the 3G signal slightly drop, the call quality drops considerably.
I can't wait to discover whether the quality and service that could be achieved by Nokia's built-in client, outperforms FT's client quality.

The prices are great, and are far cheaper than my plan in Orange. But, keep in mind, it requires a data plan to work out of the range of a WiFi router. So when trying to calculate the total price of a call, one should also consider the price of the data plan.

I guess that things would indeed change in 2011, as Free Telecom got the license to provide MVNO, and this marks the beginning of a new era in mobile communication in Israel.

EDIT: While writing this post, it appears there's an outage with the FT service. I wasn't able to connect to it for a few hours. This isn't not the first time I see this happens, yet it is not very common.

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